Flying mobile base stations are coming to the UK


EE, the largest mobile operator in the UK and now part of BT, just announced a collaboration with Lime Micro, a leader in the next big phase of open source mobile network technology, and Canonical (Ubuntu) to ensure the UK gets better mobile coverage.

EE is heavily investing in getting to 95% geographical 4G coverage by 2020. But building a big new macro tower isn’t always possible or right. They would like to use existing infrastructure like lighthouses, high-buildings, mountains, and so on. Another major problem is the coverage for remote areas which are not economically or technically viable with the current approach. This is why EE is partnering with innovators for cheaper, smaller, more resilient and better solutions.

Lime Micro is about to crowdfund the first app-enabled open source software defined radio, the LimeSDR. Via a 4G app, the LimeSDR will form the basis of a fully fledged base station. Attach this base station to a balloon or a drone and you will be able to cover regions that are difficult to reach otherwise. Embed base stations inside equipment that are installed for other reasons like vending machines, cash points, smart light poles, digital signage, to name a few, and the cost of rolling out connectivity will also go down.

EE expects remote communities to participate as well. These communities can have a say in the features they require and even  participate in maintaining the network. This could bring communities to work with the operators in new ways and even reduce the need for trained technicians to travel long distances when you have the support of the local people – if a base station just needs rebooting, it’s not economical (or sensible) to send an engineer 300 miles from Edinburgh out to the islands.

EE will be challenging UK universities to come up with even more innovative and open source ideas on how to connect the unconnected regions and drive down operating costs. Anybody with good ideas can participate. Snappy Ubuntu Core is open source, app-enabled and production ready. Just get yourself a LimeSDR, download Ubuntu Core and show the world how your app or device can lower the cost of running a network. Covering unconnected regions will bring economic progress so your work will benefit society. We love to see how you will improve the future of wireless networks…

LimeSDR Crowd Supply video campaign.

Debian GNU/Linux 7 “Wheezy” Has Become an LTS Release, Supported Until May 2018

The Debian Project has informed the community that the regular security support for the Debian GNU/Linux 7 “Wheezy” operating system has reached end of life on April 25, 2016.

What this means exactly is that the security support for the entire Debian GNU/Linux 7 “Wheezy” series has been handed over to the Debian LTS (Long Term Support) Team, which will provide critical security patches and software updates for users for the next two years, starting today, April 26, 2016, until May 31, 2018.

“As of 25 April, one year after the release of Debian 8, alias ‘Jessie’, and nearly three years after the release of Debian 7, alias ‘Wheezy’, regular security support for Wheezy comes to an end. The Debian Long Term Support (LTS) Team will take over security support,” reads the announcement.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re using Debian GNU/Linux 7 “Wheezy”

If you ar… (read more)

Ubuntu 16.04 Brings More Privacy and Big Changes to the Desktop

The release of Ubuntu 16.04 last week is good news for computer users who are upset over the recent development of Microsoft turning Windows into an operating system that is essentially spyware. As an open-source Linux distribution, Ubuntu is a great operating system for users concerned about privacy.
This marks the 24th release of the Ubuntu operating system, which has become perhaps the most popular Linux distribution in the world. Ubuntu 16.04 — codenamed Xenial Xerus — is also the sixth Long Term Support (LTS) release, meaning it will receive free security updates and support for five years. Canonical — the UK software company which sponsors Ubuntu — has continued to show its commitment to providing a solid, smooth, reliable, open-source operating system for the desktop even while working toward convergence of the desktop, phone, and tablet into one seamless operating system.

For Windows users looking for a privacy-minded operating system, this means that 16.04 stands on a solid foundation and should prove to be a good daily-driver.

Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Ubuntu Budgie 16.04 Officially Released Based on Ubuntu 16.04 and Budgie Desktop

Softpedia has been informed today, April 26, 2016, by David Mohammed about the general availability of the Budgie-Remix (soon-to-become Ubuntu Budgie) 16.04 GNU/Linux operating system.

The Budgie-Remix distro has been in development for the past couple of months, and it now finally sees an official release, based on the recently launched Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system and built around the awesome Budgie desktop environment from the Solus Project.

As you may very well be aware, Budgie-Remix aims to become an official Ubuntu flavor, under the name Ubuntu Budgie, as part of the upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) release, which has just entered its development cycle a few days ago with daily build ISO imagesread more)

Distribution Release: Slackel 6.0.5 “Openbox”

Dimitris Tzemos has announced the availability of a new version of Slackel, a distribution that is based on Slackware and Salix. The new release, Slackel 6.0.5 “Openbox”, is based on Slackware’s 14.2 (-current) branch and features support for booting on UEFI systems. The release announcement offers several tips….

Making Deep Learning accessible on Openstack

This week at the Openstack Developers Summit we are excited to showcase how Canonical with IBM, Mesosphere, Skymind and Data Fellas are working together to make the opportunities of deep learning easier for everyone to access.

Deep learning is a completely new way of building applications. These applications, built around neuronet models rapidly become self learning and self evolving. Make no mistake this is, once again, a paradigm shift for our industry. It opens up a new world of very exciting possibilities.

Deep learning allows complex, big software to skip many of the traditional design and development processes by having the software itself evolve. This is important since we quickly encounter significant constraints when building and deploying big software and big data projects. These constraints not only include the complexity of the operations involved but also include the very stark realisation that there are not enough people, with the required skills and domain expertise, to meet industry demand. Unless we find a smarter way of addressing these constraints then we will severely limit the speed at which our industry can liberate the opportunities of big software and deep learning in particular.

At the heart of deep learning is the concept of neural networks that monitor a specific environment, searching for significant events and patterns and learning how best to adapt to these events and patterns. Of course a key part of this process is the period in which the artificial intelligence is in training. Once initiated the model continue to be self-improving as more data is analyzed over time.

Across all industries we see meaningful applications of deep learning emerging. In healthcare a recent challenge was launched to improve the process and outcomes around cardiac diagnosis. In personal concierge services and in retail neural networks are being married to image recognition to drive recommendation engines. In natural language processing deep learning is being used not only to automate to a higher level of interaction with customers but to also understand, through sentiment analysis, when the experience is degrading and when a warm body needs to intervene. There are of course many projects and many stories that are emerging in deep learning. These only scratch the surface of what is possible. This begs the question – “Why are we not seeing an explosion of new, real world experiences constructed around deep learning?”

The answer is that, as well as the constraints that were previously mentioned, there are also additional things to consider for anyone involved in this space. For instance, if you have a small set of data it is easy to set up a small project cheaply in a few days. When you start to tackle big data sets and to operate at scale your ability to do so quickly becomes significantly more challenging and your options become more limited.

Canonical and Ubuntu underpin the world of scale-out architectures and automation around big software projects. We wake up every day thinking about how we can help simplify, codify, automate and unleash the potential of technology such as deep learning. That is why we have been working with partners such as IBM Power Systems, Mesosphere, Skymind and Data Fellas.

  • IBM Power Systems accelerates the processing of deep learning applications, using Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (CAPI) or GPU attach to increase throughput. This performance will improve even further when NVLink becomes available.
  • Mesosphere supplies the mechanism to run distributed systems and containers as simple as using a single computer. It makes it easy to deploy and operate complex datacenter services like Spark.
  • Skymind is the commercial support arm of the open-source framework DeepLearning4j (the java/scala deep learning framework), bringing the power of deep learning to enterprise on Spark and Hadoop.
  • Data Fellas brings an Agile Data Science Toolkit bringing the full power of distributed machine learning in the hands of the new generation of data scientists.

The first thing that we created is a model with Juju, Canonical’s Application Modelling Framework, that automates the process for building a complete, classic, deep learning stack. This includes everything from bare metal to essential interfaces. The model includes:

  • A data pipeline to push data into Hadoop HDFS.
  • An evolutive data computation stack made of Spark and Hadoop.
  • A Computing framework for the scheduling of Spark jobs based on Mesos.
  • An interactive notebook to create training pipelines and build Neural Networks.

The system is modelled by Juju is deployed on IBM Power GPU enabled machines for performance and operated by Juju on LXD containers. The Juju model for this looks like this:

We can provide guidance on how you can deploy your own machine/deep learning stack at scale and do your own data analysis. We believe that this early work significantly increases the ability for everyone to get their hands on classic big data infrastructure in just minutes.

There are many use cases for deep learning and it’s hard to pick only one! However, Canonical is engaged heavily in major OpenStack projects in all sectors including telco, retail, media, finance and others. Our initial projects have therefore gravitated towards how we make operations around Openstack more performant.

OpenStack Logs

Canonical runs the OpenStack Interoperability Lab (OIL). With over 35 vendors participating and over 170 configuration combinations Canonical typically builds over 3500 Openstack every month to complete interoperability testing.

This generates over 10GB of logs on OpenStack interoperability and performance every week. We use these log results to train the deep learning model to predict when an OpenStack cloud is going to fail. This produced two outcomes.

First, even at an early stage, this showed an improvement over traditional monitoring systems that only assess the status based on how OpenStack engineers and operators have configured the monitoring of the solution. Intelligent agents were able to trigger alarms based on “feeling” the network, rather than on straight values and probabilities. This is a bit like a spam robot reducing the amount of work of support teams by notifying them of the threat level.

Secondly, over time, as the cloud grows, losing a node becomes less and less manageable. These agents are able to make completely automated decisions such as “migrate all containers off this node” or “restart these services asap”

The beauty of this is that it doesn’t depend on OpenStack itself. The same network will be trainable on any form of applications, creating a new breed of monitoring and metrology systems, combining the power of logs with metrics. Ultimately this makes OpenStack more reliable and performant.

Network Intrusion

We also applied our reference architecture to anomaly detection using NIDS (network intrusion detection) data. This is a classic problem for NeuroNets. Models are trained to monitor and identify unauthorized, illicit and anomalous network behavior, notify network administrators and take autonomous actions to save the network integrity.

Several datasets were used for this initial proof of concept and the models used included:

  • MLP | Feedforward (currently used for streaming)
  • RNN
  • AutoEncoder
  • MLP simulated AutoEncoder

If you are at the Openstack Developer Summit we will also be demonstrating this all week at the Ubuntu/ Canonical Booth A20. If you are attending the Summit please drop by if you would like to discuss and see our work in this area.

If you are not attending the Openstack Summit and would like to start a conversation with Canonical to help us identify the applications and workloads that are most meaningful to you please get in touch with Samuel Cozannet. Or if you are keen to partner with us in this work please get in touch.

Sucuri becomes Linux Mint’s 3rd biggest sponsor


I’m happy to announce that Sucuri is now Linux Mint’s 3rd biggest sponsor.

Sucuri is a security company, specialized in incident response, monitoring and protection for web sites. With thousands of clients, their cloud-based firewall handles more than 16 billion page views every single month, while their incident response team can remediate hundreds of sites on a single day.

Working with Sucuri has been a great experience for us. Our project uses many servers spread across the world. Thanks to Sucuri’s expertise, their help and their products we were able to quickly recover from the attacks led on our distribution and set up malware monitoring and improved automated backups. Their firewall protects access to our servers and uses cache and compression techniques to speed up traffic on our web sites. Sucuri also helped us with the adoption of HTTPS and the hardening of our servers. We’re able to quickly get in touch and chat with them when needed. That proximity and relationship with our partners is very important to our project and their expertise in security is really appreciated.

We’re proud to welcome Sucuri as our new sponsor and very grateful for the help they’re giving us.

Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS Officially Released for Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 2

The Ubuntu MATE team has been proud to announce today, April 25, 2016, the general availability of the Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system for Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3 single-board computers.

The Ubuntu MATE 16.04 for Raspberry Pi port, which comes hot on the heels of Lubuntu 16.04 LTS for Rasppbery 2, has been in development for the last few months. Thus, since the Beta 2 build introduced at the beginning of April, the team of developers behind this project have implemented several new tweaks and much-needed improvements.

Among these, we can notice the addition of OpemMAX IL hardware accelerated video playback to the VLC Media P… (read more)

Introducing the extra wallpapers for Fedora 24

In the Fedora 24 alpha release, you could preview an early version of the default wallpaper for Fedora 24. Each release, the Fedora Design team collaborates with the Fedora community to release a set of 16 additional backgrounds to install and use on Fedora. The Fedora Design team takes submissions from the wider community, then votes on the top 16 to include in the next release.

Voting is now closed on the supplemental wallpapers for Fedora 24. The results are available for all to see on the wallpaper voting app. In the Fedora 24 cycle, the Fedora Design team received 133 valid submissions from many existing and new contributors to supplemental wallpapers.

Take a look at Fedora 24 wallpapers

Out of the 133 submissions, the following 16 wallpapers were chosen for inclusion in Fedora 24:

Aurora over Iceland by Helena Bartosova -- CC-BY-SA
Sunrise in Florida II by afsilva -- CC-BY-SA
Lady Musgrave Blue by Lyle Wang -- CC-BY-SA
jellyfish by Allan Lyngby Lassen -- CC-BY-SA
old railroad by nask0
Argentina Glacier by wesleyotugo -- CC0
Iceberg in greenland by lhirlimann -- CC-BY-SA
Paisaje by diegoestrada -- CC0
Tree in Winter by Franz Dietrich -- CC-BY-SA
waves by ali4129 -- CC-BY-SA
Morning Dew on Leaves by sethtrei -- CC-BY-SA
zen by hhlp -- CC-BY-SA
Blue Deep by alyaj2a -- Free Art
By the lake -- CC0
mistogan by espasmo
-- CC0
Ice Lake by Oscar Osta --CC-BY-SA


Distribution Release: Lubuntu 16.04

The Lubuntu team has announced the release of Lubuntu 16.04, a lightweight community edition of Ubuntu that features the LXDE desktop. The new version is a long term support release and features mostly bug fixes and new artwork. “Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, Lubuntu….

Ubuntu 16.10 named Yakkety Yak

Ubuntu founder has always provided colorful codenames in alphabetical order and the 16.10 release, due out in in October 2016 will be no exception. Last week, Ubuntu 16.04 the Xenial Xerus, debuted so its now time to pick the ‘Y’ name.
Unlike so many of the past African animal chosen as Ubuntu release mascots, Ubuntu 16.10 will actually be named for one i know – a Yak.
“Y is for …Yakkety yakkety yakkety yakkety yakkety yakkety yakkety yakkety yak. Naturally,” Mark Shuttleworth announced.
No word yet on if Shuttleworth and crew will also double down on WebRTC and/or communications bits as a key release goal for Ubunut 16.10.

Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Ubuntu-Based Black Lab Linux 7.6 Released with Xfce 4.12 and LibreOffice 5.1.2

Roberto J. Dohnert, CEO of Black Lab Software, informs Softpedia today, April 25, 2016, about the release and immediate availability for download of the Black Lab Linux 7.6 operating system.

Powered by Linux kernel 3.19.0-58, the same version that is available upstream in the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), on which the long-term supported Black Lab Linux 7.x series is based, and built around the lightweight Xfce 4.12 desktop environment, Black Lab Linux 7.6 is a maintenance build to keep the branch stable and reliable at all times.

“Black Lab Linux 7.6 is the latest release of our stable 7.x series of OS’s. Black Lab Linux 7.6 is supported long term until April 2019,” said Roberto J. Dohnert in the announcement. “Black Lab Linux 64 bit can boot on either UEFI or BIOS devices (we recommend turning off secure-boot if not necessary). Black Lab Linux 32 … (read more)

Lubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) Officially Released for Raspberry Pi 2 SBCs

Lubuntu maintainer Rafael Laguna had the great pleasure of announcing the release and immediate availability for download of the Lubuntu 16.04 LTS operating system for Raspberry Pi 2 single-board computers.

As you might very well be aware, the Lubuntu 16.04 LTS GNU/Linux distribution has been unveiled last week, on April 24, 2016, as part of the massive Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system.

The Lubuntu 16.04 release brought in new features like massive artwork improvements for both the desktop theme and the icon set, multiple updates to most of the LXDE components, and support for PowerPC (PPC) Mac computers.

Additionally, it includes all the major components of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, such as Linux kernel 4.4 LTS, Python 3.5, Glibc 2.23, APT 1.2, OpenSSH 7.2p2, GCC 5.3, and man… (read more)

DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 658

This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: Kali Linux 2016.1News: Debian elects new leader, OpenMandriva launches build farm, Fedora 24 feature preview and Nard reaches 1.0Guest review: elementary OS 0.3.2 “Freya”Torrent corner: OpenIndiana, Quirky, VoidReleased last week: Ubuntu 16.04, TurnKey Linux 14.1, Quirky 8.0Opinion poll: Are you using HTTPS….

New Quest – River of Blood | Vampyre Series Conclusion

Prevent a cataclysmic conflict and earn some fantastic rewards.

MKVToolNix 9.1.0 Free MKV Manipulation Tool Adds Support for WebVTT Subtitles

MKVToolNix developer Moritz Bunkus has released this weekend a new major version of his wildly used, cross-platform, and open-source MKV (Matroska) manipulation software.

According to the release notes, MKVToolNix 9.1.0 is yet another major release of the acclaimed software project, bringing numerous improvements to the main components, such as mkvmerge and mkvextract, but also to the MKVToolNix GUI (Graphical User Interface).

Probably the most important change is a patch for a bug that could lead to MKVToolNix using more than 2 GB or RAM when attempting to load stored settings form JSON files. The patch is nothing more than an update to the JSON library, as explained by the developer in the official release announcement.

“Here’s another release of MKVToolNix. Several bugs have been fixed. A rather important one is an update to the JSON library used which … (read more)

Convergence Features Of The BQ M10 Tablet

A quick look at the convergence features of the BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet.

Mythbuntu 16.04 LTS Out Now as a Point Release for 14.04 LTS, Gets MythTV 0.28

We almost forgot to tell you about the release of the Mythbuntu 16.04 LTS operating system, the officially recognized Ubuntu flavor build around the MythTV media center software.

When we reported earlier on the release of Xubuntu 16.04 LTS and Lubuntu 16.04 LTS, we said that they’re the last two Ubuntu flavors we’re going to write about as part of the massive Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) launch on April 21, 2016, but we forgot about Mythbuntu, which only participates in LTS (Long Term Support) releases.

But don’t expect too much from Mythbuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), because the distribution’s mainta… (read more)

OpenStack Spotlight Carlos Gonzales and Josh McJilton

Carlos Gonzales gives some insight about his role as a Engineer Manager for our Ecosystems and his outlook about meeting people at OpenStack.


What does your department do at Canonical?

My department develops, supports and sustain the OpenStack distribution as part of the Ubuntu package and Canonical’s Cloud product and service offering. In addition, my team develops and supports charms related to the OpenStack deployment that is readily available in the store.

Who are you interested in speaking with at OpenStack in Austin ?

I am Interested in talking to OpenStack newbies, community members, and tech leads who are venturing out in learning OpenStack/Opensource software development, looking to partner with Canonical OpenStack and Juju, and users who have use cases for OpenStack deployments. Also, looking forward to meeting people who are passionate about user experience, security, and software quality.

Why should people want to speak with you at OpenStack in Austin?

People would be interested in talking to me because I can provide them with a perspective about OpenStack and Juju that benefits their project and/or organization. In addition, I can discuss Canonical’s culture and environment with people who are interested in applying for job within Canonical. For the SME’s in the industry, they can look for me to help them get connected with Canonical’s experts in MAAS, Juju, OpenStack, Landscape, Autopilot, Bootstack, etc…

Top tip for people attending their first OpenStack event ?

My tips are 1) take advantage of the tracks and sessions, 2) visit the expo to explore the options for OpenStack deployment, and 3) meet new people and build new relationships in the community.

What made you decide to join Canonical?

I was very interested in working on Opensource software, Ubuntu, OpenStack, and Cloud technologies. Canonical also provided me the flexibility from a work/life balance standpoint which was very limited or lacking in the traditional corporate environment.

What keeps you at Canonical?

The innovative culture, the community based model, and flexibility of the work environment. It really made me focus better on my role, the new relationships I am building daily, and the new cloud technologies instead of being distracted by events that may happen in the ‘office’ or ‘commuting’ from a traditional sense.

Where is your department located?

The department is located in the BlueFin building in downtown London, England. However, most of my team are spread across the US and UK.

What types of employees are you looking for?

We are looking for passionate and diligent people who have the innovative drive to learn new things, build healthy relationships and provide leadership by thinking outside the box. It also helps to have Juju (Orchestration), OpenStack, & DevOps knowledge and experience.

What advice would you give to people interested in working at Canonical?

My advice are the following:

  • Talk to other Canonical employees and listen to their experience.
  • Determine if the culture and environment fits their needs and career direction.
  • Get involved with the Ubuntu and OpenStack community to get some experience in the Open source community.

Josh McJilton is a Cloud Consultancy Manager at Canonical and he was excited to take some time to speak to us about the OpenStack Summit as well as his views about Canonical.


What does your department do at Canonical?

The Cloud Consulting team applies Canonical’s unique point of view and cutting edge technologies to create solutions that enable customer and partner success. Working face to face with customers and partners, we design and deploy solutions that use advanced tooling and automation to deliver IT capabilities on a fundamentally different set of economics.

Why should people want to speak with you at OpenStack in Austin?

We do incredibly interesting work with some of the most innovative companies on the planet. We use some of the coolest technology on the market, and we get to do it with an incredibly smart group of colleagues. It isn’t always easy, but truly rewarding endeavors rarely are.

Top tip for people attending their first OpenStack event?

I’ll bend the rules and offer two: prepare in advance and have fun. First, there is a tremendous amount of content available across the Summit. It’s impossible to take it all in. Read up in advance and have a plan for what you want to learn. You’ll get more out of it if you know what you’re looking to learn. Second, have a good time. Events like these are a great place to meet new people and build your professional network. Austin is great city, so you couldn’t ask for a better setting to make a few new friends. As a native Texan and 15 year resident of Austin, please don’t hesitate to stop me in the halls for taco, BBQ, beer, or even career advice.

What made you decide to join Canonical?

Amazing technology, incredibly smart people, and the chance to do tremendous things for our customers.

What keeps you at Canonical?

Our vision for the future.

Where is your department located?

Globally distributed. Our team is 100% work from home. When we’re not on site working with customers, we work from home, or wherever we can find a solid internet connection and a steady place to balance a laptop.

What kind of candidates are you looking forward to speaking to at OpenStack?

We’re looking for candidates with a broad ranging foundation of technical skills. From system administration to advanced networking to scripting, the best consultants are usually people who can call on a number of different skills to solve problems they’ve never seen before.

What types of employees are you looking for?

We need people who love to learn, and who view their own success as fundamentally tied to that of their customers.

What advice would you give to people interested in working at Canonical?

Know your stuff. Know our story. Have an opinion.


Interested in career opportunities with Canonical? Visit us at OpenStack Summit Austin (link to page) or check out our career openings (Link to page)

You can also follow us at @UbuntuWantsYou on Twitter

Distribution Release: Mythbuntu 16.04

Thomas Mashos has announced the launch of Mythbuntu 16.04, a community edition of Ubuntu which facilitates setting up a MythTV system. This release is a long term support release with security updates and support for just over two years. Mythbuntu is compatible with MythTV 0.28. “Mythbuntu 16.04 has….